MINSK, 21 January (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Director General of Roscosmos State Corporation Dmitry Rogozin on 21 January to discuss joint Belarus-Russia projects in the space industry, BelTA has learned.
The head of state suggested discussing various avenues of Belarus-Russia cooperation in the space industry, including in the context of national programs. “You have a formidable program, and we are mulling over our participation in it, we do not conceal it. There were many ideas, many of them were fulfilled. But right now we are taking not even our first steps in space exploration, we are taking possible steps. It is an expensive affair, but the space industry development is one of Belarus' priorities because it involves advanced technologies,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.
In his words, Belarus is interested in the development of advanced technologies across the board, and Russia is a global leader in many fields. “The development of advanced technologies is Belarus' number one priority as the country does not have abundant natural resources. Belarus has always relied on the skills and brains of its people, their experience and qualifications. Space is a litmus paper for assessing the potential and capabilities of any state and people,” the head of state added.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus and Russia have a good basis for cooperation in this industry. In his words, Belarus is ready to discuss any proposals of Russian partners.
Dmitry Rogozin also believes that the Belarusian-Russian cooperation in the space industry is increasingly vibrant. “We maintain close cooperation with the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, with enterprises,” he said. “As far as the penetration of the space services market is concerned, I believe that there is a huge cooperation potential for Belarusian and Russian enterprises.”
At the meeting the Roscosmos head presented a small souvenir, a glove of an astronaut who had recently returned from a space mission, to Aleksandr Lukashenko. “I will tell you later who it was, I don't want other astronauts to be jealous,” Dmitry Rogozin said.
“I have never had such a legendary gift before,” the head of state thanked Dmitry Rogozin.
Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke about the results of the meeting which lasted more than three hours at the next meeting on the same day. In his words, the sides agreed to enhance contacts in the space industry. “The construction of a nuclear power plant, an IT park, space are the future. These are advanced technologies. Therefore, the previous meeting focused on the development of contacts in missile engineering and space with the global leader in the field. Many Belarusian enterprises are already focused on that. The Russian market as well as contacts in science and manufacturing are very important for us,” he said.
Belarus submitted proposals to Russian partners for consideration. “We managed to agree on many things. It just turned out that the meeting lasted longer than expected,” the president added.
The Belarusian space industry comprises more than 20 research and production organizations. In July 2012, a Belarusian satellite was launched into space. It was included in the Belarusian system of Earth remote sensing.
The Belarusian satellite and similar Russian satellite Canopus-B No.1 make up a joint orbital group. The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and Roscosmos agreed to expand the group by adding other Russian satellites Canopus-B and Canopus-B-IK.
In 2018, the countries started to design a joint space system which night include a new Belarusian-Russian spacecraft. The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and Roscosmos are ordering customers, the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Electromechanics VNIIEM is the main developer. Specialized mechanical facilities should be designed by the Belarusian enterprise Peleng with the participation of Integral. The Russian-Belarusian spacecraft will meet all requirements for foreign analogues. Therefore, the project can be a commercial success.
These and other issues will be discussed at the first session of the CIS Interstate Space Council which will take place at the Belarusian Academy of Sciences on 22-23 January. Partaking in the event will be delegations of CIS countries, senior space industry executives from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, representatives of the CIS Executive Committee, the Eurasian Economic Commission.
Apart from that, the election of the chairman of the CIS Interstate Space Council will be on the agenda. The participants of the conference will also discuss promising avenues of cooperation in the space industry.
The council has been established to coordinate efforts as part of the CIS agreement on research and peaceful use of outer space which was signed in Kazakhstan on 2 November 2018.